Moulettes: Live at the Ruby Lounge, Manchester 12/10/2010

Review by Jamie-leigh Hargreaves

Ever since Laura Marling started helping out those Whale and Mumford boys, people seem to have decided folk is now fashionable, so I’ve been wondering when people are going to start paying attention to Moulettes and their theatrical antics. Three lovely ladies and a couple of not too shabby gents, they seem to be the obvious choice for a major label to pick up. Main vocalist and cellist Hannah Miller has a voice with an amazing amount of resonance and the charisma of the group tonight make the audience feel so at home they sit down, resting legs across each other as if in some sort of hippy commune.

Long sweeping cello and violin strokes give the feel of a Victorian melodrama, and then in one fell swoop the bodhran playing of Ollie Austin turns the song into an Irish jig that gets a few brave souls up dancing. The harmonies of ‘Going A Gathering’ and its hints of jive and swing mean it could have been a 40’s dancehall classic, whilst bassoonist Ruth Skipper handles that beast of an instrument well, especially on the sensational ‘Cannibal Song’. Their on stage extravagance is reminiscent of an early Mystery Jets, a mandolin, washboard and an instrument I don’t even recognise are strewn about the stage ready for anyone to come up and join them if they so wish. The ghostly ‘Devil of Mine’ is noticeable by its absence, as this is the song that has garnered them attention from BBC 6 Music listeners, but they have the audience eating out of their hands none the less.

If this nu-folk revival carries on then Moulettes could be headed straight for the charts, but that would mean reigning in some of that wonderful drama and flair, so let’s hope they’re not just yet.

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